If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration
— Nikola Tesla
From the moment we come into the world, in fact even before then, our environment informs how we develop. We develop and grow to best manage the relationships and environments that we find ourselves in. However, over time, the strategies that we developed, and even the way our brain and nervous systems have wired up, may no longer serve us, and in fact may cause us great pain. Through no fault of our own, we find ourselves stuck in painful, even at times debilitating and destructive, patterns. This can negatively effect the relationships we try to build as well as our ability to be successful in our careers and in our lives. At times we can learn to compensate for these patterns in traditional talk therapy, but the underlying difficulties remain unchanged.
Through neurofeedback we can learn to actually shift our underlying neuronal patterns and consequently experience deeper, more elemental shifts toward a healthier way of being in the world. This is done by giving our brain direct feedback about it’s functioning, and then, through this feedback, teach our brain and nervous system to work in a more regulated, and for many, less fear driven, way. Once the brain has learnt to function in a more coherent, organized and optimal way, we can see not only improved emotional regulation, but also greater mental clarity, concentration, focus, sleep, relational connections and overall emotional and physical well being.
What is Neurofeedback?
Brainwave training teaches the brain to work at its fullest capacity. By using the brains neuroplasticity it can strengthen existing and healthy brain functioning, help the brain compensate for decreased and imbalanced functioning and improve overall flexibility. This allows us to switch gears as needed for the task at hand. Many conditions we experience are due to a difficulty in regulating our selves and our nervous systems. Neurofeedback helps train the brain at a neuronal level in a holistic, non-invasive manner that leads to better regulation of the mind and body.
What is the best way to learn?
Experience and feedback offer us the best way to learn, grow and change. We use feedback loops all the time in our lives without realizing it. Some examples of this are:
Mirrors: Looking in the mirror gives us all sorts of visual feedback, which inspires action, such as adjusting our clothing or hair.
Gravity: We all use kinesthetic feedback from gravity to develop new neural connections to learn how to walk or ride a bike.
In the case of EEG biofeedback, software gives visual and audio feedback to provide an experience to the brain of enhanced function, specifically to improve its regulation of thoughts, feelings and focus. As with everything we learn, a beneficial lesson makes a lasting impression. Neurofeedback helps train your own brainwave activity – made up of alpha, theta, beta and sensorimotor rhythm or SMR waves – by using simple computer games. The feedback you get is almost immediate, too fast for your conscious mind to process but the brain is able to process the information unconsciously and learns to self-correct.
How can playing these games help change my brain?
Your brain is not your mind. It is an organ that processes substantially more information than your conscious mind could handle. For example, it is your brain that regulates an increase in heart rate during physical activity and not your conscious mind. Even though your mind wants to understand and even participate in your EEG Biofeedback session, it is your brain that we are training. Neurofeedback works at a neuronal level, using excitation and inhibition of neuronal pathways to help the brain better self regulate. This increases the brains flexibility and capacity for relaxation and activation.
Are you really playing these games with your brain?
Yes. Everyone is unique and so is your brain. Every one of your thoughts and feelings creates a unique signal that manipulates the games on the screen. As your brain does this it is given information on how it operates, which in turn teaches the organ how to function more efficiently.
How can Neurofeedback help me?
Since the brain is the master regulator, most people will enjoy benefits from neurofeedback depending on their objectives. The most common applications for it are:
- Brain Injury
- Chronic Pain
- Cognitive Function
- Emotional Regulation
- Early Developmental Trauma
- Increase Energy
- Learning and Memory
- Mental Flexibility
- Peak Performance Training
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seizure Disorder/Epilepsy
- Sleep Disorders
- Test Anxiety
Who is a good candidate?
Are you not getting the full results from psychotropic medication or don’t like the side effects? Do you have a history of trauma and/or have you been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Can you visualize what you want out of life, but consistently get derailed from negative self-talk, anxiety or fear? Do you wake up with negative feelings in the mornings? Do you or your child have problems with focus or impulsivity or been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD? Did you ever suffer from a concussion? Would you like a more restful night of sleep? Are you suffering from symptoms of Menopause? Would you like to be able to reach a more meditative state? Would you like to be able to enhance your performance? If you answered yes to any of these questions than you are a good candidate for neurofeedback.
Can it replace medication?
While under an MD’s supervision many people can either cut down or stop using their medication after successfully completing the required number of sessions.
How many sessions do I need?
Generally people notice improvements within the first 10-20 sessions. For longer lasting and often permanent results 20-40 sessions are recommended. However, everyone responds differently and therefore it can be hard to predict how many sessions will prove to be most effective.
What is a session like?
Step 1: You will have an initial assessment.
Step 2: Sensors will be put on your ears and scalp. Nothing goes into your brain. Sensors only pick up electrical activity coming from your brain.
Step 3: You will watch a computer game and will also hear sounds that provide audio feedback.
When will I see results?
Each individual is different; therefore, some will realize progress more quickly than others. While some people feel they are making progress on their goals within 5-8 sessions, progress is also related to symptoms. For example, PTSD and insomnia tend to resolve faster than depression. Sometimes progress can be slow even when the overall effectiveness of the neurofeedback training is very high.
If you would like to discuss whether you are a good candidate for neurofeedback or have any questions about neurofeedback please call or email.